Role of pediatricians in disasters and mass casualty incidents

Pediatr Emerg Care. 1988 Mar;4(1):41-4. doi: 10.1097/00006565-198803000-00012.


In disaster planning, the role of the specialist is often overlooked. That role, for the pediatrician, entails being familiar with hospital and community disaster plans and agreeing to take part in implementation of those plans by: (1) before a disaster, teaching special pediatric emergency techniques to emergency medical technicians and paramedics, being sure that pediatric supplies and equipment are available in ambulances, checking to see that pediatric needs have been considered in designated evacuation shelters, and, for disasters occurring in one's own hospital, being sure that evacuation routes are known and that means of notifying parents have been set up; (2) during a disaster, helping to determine which pediatric patients can be discharged from the hospital or transferred to another hospital if beds are needed for accident victims, and being available as needed according to the plans; and (3) after a disaster, counseling parents and children on how to cope with the stress and fear of having been involved in a disaster. The emergency pediatrician active in disaster planning has a responsibility to see that the services of pediatricians in general practice are incorporated into those plans.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Disasters*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics
  • Physician's Role*
  • Role*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy